Monday, February 05, 2007

We’re Number Four! We’re Number Four!

The newsmedia in New Zealand have been reporting that a website called International Living has designated New Zealand the fourth-best country in the world to live in. France is best, followed by Australia, The Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States.

The general media tone here is one of what I’d call “excited bemusement”. They seem thrilled when New Zealand achieves a high ranking on some sort of international list, and also amused by it. New Zealanders generally are more circumspect, with a sort of “is that right?” nonchalant attitude.

Both New Zealand and Australia are said to suffer from “cultural cringe”, always examining themselves and feeling they come up short compared to the rest of the world. Mostly, this is nonsense as people in both countries are pretty satisfied with their country and its place in the world.

Generally that’s true. Despite its bravado, Australia does sometimes fret. New Zealand tends to fret about its place relative to Australia (the rest of the world is so far away, anyway). For both countries, it’s the media that keeps on about this, generating the discussion. Ordinary people, it seems, are far less worried about it than journalists are. That’s often the case, isn’t it?

But, hey: We’re Number Four!

No comments: